Around May 2003 I started a small site called "DiscoFreq's Envelope Filter site" that would eventually become "Effects Database". A 10th anniversary is a good reason to celebrate!
After posting about this on Facebook, several pedal builders offered to let you all join the party:
starting Monday May 27, there will be a weekly giveaway of 6 pedals from this list.
To enter one of them:
|More?||new shirts: June 1-21|
7 new brands
- Aqua Audio
- Arts In Bloodshed Custom Effects
- Custom Analog Pedals
- Dark Cat Workshop
- Raygun FX
- Somo Pedals
53 new effects
- Ashdown Engineering NM2 Nate Mendel Double Distortion
- Carella Guitars Chorus
- Carella Guitars Dynaros
- Carella Guitars GCM800
- Carella Guitars Kung Fuzz
- Carella Guitars Leopard
- Cluster Effects Ithaca-26 Carlos Santana Signature Edition
- Emanating Fist Electronics Lucifer Rising (The Torch Of Baphomet) - Super-Alpha Overdrive
- Frontline Series II PB-1
- JMB.Experience Riff Shooter
- Juliet Collectie Candy Shop series Orange Cream - Parallel Distortion
- Lovepedal Mk-Red - King Of Dirt
- LS Effects Honey Hole
- LS Effects Jolt
- Mojo Hand BMP-1 Fuzz
- Mowery Electronics Dynatron
- Mowery Electronics Express Lane
- Mowery Electronics Heisenberg Boost
- Mowery Electronics Purity Drive
- Nemphasis Dark Lady - Distortion
- Nemphasis Liquid Mind - Analog Chorus
- Nemphasis Oktopus - Noiseless Power Supply
- Nemphasis Reactive - Booster/Buffer
- Nemphasis Silver Box - Marco Tafelli Signature Booster
- Nemphasis Tentacles - Hum Free Regulated Power Supply
- Nemphasis The Muff - Distortion
- Nemphasis VT Comp - Optical Compressor
- Nemphasis VT Comp Bass - Optical Compressor
- Nemphasis White Scream - Overdrive
- Nemphasis Z-Pro
- Pedal Enclosures Dragonfly's Sparkle Boost
- Prophecysound Rubber Fetish Two
- Quinn Amplification Prophet
- Rainger FX Minor Concussion - Volume Dipper
- Ramble FX Marvel Drive
- Somo Pedals A/B Box
- Somo Pedals A/B-Y Box
- Somo Pedals Drive Box
- Somo Pedals Dual Loop Selector
- Somo Pedals Dual Tap Tempo
- Somo Pedals Loop Selector
- Somo Pedals Mini Looper
- Somo Pedals Phase Box
- Somo Pedals Tap Tempo
- Somo Pedals Volume Box
- Stomp Audio Labs Ca$h - Dynamic Overdrive
- Stomp Audio Labs Juice - Booster
- Stomp Audio Labs Mother Of Fuzz
- Stomp Audio Labs Mr. Brown - Crunch Distortion
- Stunt Monkey Pedals Piercing Rook
- Stunt Monkey Pedals TBL-3 True Bypass Looper
- Stunt Monkey Pedals White Rabbit
- Stunt Monkey Pedals White Rabbit II 'Cream'
You can find the overviews of the previous weeks here
Hotone Skyline Series Blues
Hotone Audio company was founded in November 2012 and is operating from Hong Kong. This young company claims however, that it has over 15 years of working experience in the digital audio field. Hotone also claims to do their own R&D, design, production and sales of their products of the highest quality. Hmmm. The proof is in the pudding.
Hotone Audio Skyline Fury
One of the latest fads in the pedal industry is the miniaturization of pedals, there are now quite a few companies and brands who offer nano sized pedals – usually in 1590A casing - that pack the same features and controls as the “big” pedals.
Hotone Audio is a newcomer to the world of effects, and they made a remarkable entrance with their Skyline series, a line of 8 adorable little pedals that – even though I walked straight past and did not notice – actually did not go unnoticed at the Frankfurt Musikmesse earlier this year...
Here's FXDB's interview with Brian Cale of Farndurk.
Farndurk Custom Modular is run by Brian Cale, assisted by his wife Missi. They are located in Yuma, Arizona (USA) in what is known as the Great Sonoran Desert.
How did Farndurk start?
It actually started due to a very frustrating transaction with a crooked vendor regarding a hand made phase shifter. In my frustration, I began looking over the unit carefully, and decided that I could teach myself to construct something like it, that way I wouldn't have to deal with folks like him any longer. After some sniffing around on the internet I discovered a number of effects kit manufacturers. We selected one, and purchased a simple booster kit, and it was so easy for me to learn the basics and construct it that I was encouraged by my success, and we ordered another one which I heavily modified.
Inspired by what seemed to be the idea that I had a "knack" for electronics, we decided to try a few more kits, which again I heavily modified into creating nice successful builds. I've been a fabricator and metalworker most of my life, so I combined those skills and experiences with my self taught computer skills and my newfound ability for electronic circuit design. The combination proved to be noteworthy and fruitful, so we went out on a limb and spent our entire savings on a dozen pedal kits and a bunch of parts.
With those kits and parts I began to design very unique looking enclosures, as well as increased my understanding of audio electronics. After exhausting those twelve kits, using them to further refine some of my ideas, we sold them on Ebay with relative ease. The basic form and aesthetics of those pedals was beginning to form an ethos, it was obvious to me that a brand was emerging from these efforts. We spent the money we made from those ebay sales on purchasing our first lot of components to construct uniquely designed guitar pedals. Soon the form and aesthetics were solidified, and the construction methods were beginning to take solid shape as well.
I then began to ween myself from kit pcbs and started to design my own highly unique audio processing circuits using a CAD program that I taught myself to use. Things were beginning to really take shape at that point, and in 2008 we were building and selling guitar pedals in earnest. A parallel situation at the time was I had injured my spine at some point along the way in the early 2000s causing an inoperable spinal injury that heavily affected my professional life. We had owned and operated an industrial equipment warranty and repair business since 1994 and it was becoming clear that I was unable to continue working in that field. I knew I would have to figure out some other method of creating means to feed my family and pay my mounting medical bills. Missi and I are not the type of people that wish to sit back and allow our Government to support us, especially when we can still figure out a way to feed ourselves. The idea of using Farndurk as our means started to take shape. It was actually a terrifying notion, with theeconomy having just tipped upside down nearly everything was an uncertainty. But I had to do something, because the repair shop gig was not working out with my increasing physical limitations.
As Farndurk began to grow even further, we converted our driveway into a fully enclosed electronics and metalworking shop. We enclosed our driveway creating a very capable workspace, doing all of the construction ourselves. I took it upon myself to learn how to design and construct a website, and in August of 2008 Farndurk was officially on-line. It had solidified as a brand.
By 2009 two paths crossed. In spite of a crappy economy Farndurk had become very solid, and at the same time my spinal injury was making my duties at our brick and mortar repair shop impossible to perform. The message was becoming clear, very clear. Missi and I talked it over a number of times, and finally decided to have confidence in our ability to adapt. We decided to make some very big changes in our lives. We elected to take the leap and sell our industrial equipment repair business and make Farndurk our sole form of income. I was able to build audio processing gear at a shop we built at our home, I could work when my physical limits allowed it, and the work was of such a nature that I was able to do it, unlike the type of work the repair shop demanded of me. So we sold our repair business to a long time employee, and put 100% of our time and efforts into Farndurk and its development. We had to make a lot of hard core sacrifices, as well as accept a lifestyle that was a lesser thing than we were used to. We used the money made from selling our repair business to help carry us until Farndurk grew to the point it could stand on its own, and we also invested heavily into component inventory. After a time and a lot of very hard work, Farndurk was at last a full fledged here-to-stay custom audio processing module builder.
My most important inspiration came from the owner of General Guitar Gadgets, J.D. Sleep. We had purchased most of those first several kits from him, and over time he and I developed a nice friendly relationship. During a few telephone conversations he advised me of certain aspects of the pedal building industry, giving me certain insights that I would never have learned otherwise. I like to say that J.D. "taught me to fish". That notion borrows from the old adage of "give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime". J.D. taught me to fish.
Mad Professor is a Finnish amplifier company that teamed up with Bjorn Juhl from BJFE pedals, who designs effects and amplifiers that are manufactured and distributed under the Mad Professor Amplification brand.
The latest addition to the Mad Professor boutique effect line is a "Brown sound" distortion pedal reminiscent of late ’70s/early ’80s guitar with onboard plate style reverb.
Now for those unfamiliar with the term "Brown sound", it is nothing to be scared of. The "Brown sound" is a typically nasty, midrange, biting distortion sound. Think early Eddie Van Halen.
Of course the pedal has a deep brown shiny finish, in- and outputs on the side, Boss adapter plug next to the input. The distinct Mad Professor logo and white labeling, a red status LED, a true bypass switch and four controls for Level, Presence, Brown, and Reverb. Cream knobs with black markers.
Inside, there is the familiar 9V battery snap, but also two factory tuned trimpots to adjust the reverb time and tone.
Here's FXDB's interview with James Granuzzo of Main Ace Fx.
Main.Ace.FX is a small operation run by James Granuzzo, from his garage workshop in Colonia, NJ.
He co-founded Main.Ace.FX with his friend Justin who now handles the art and graphics design.
How did Main Ace Fx start?
I was introduced to pedal building by my friend Justin, who also helped start Main.Ace.FX, and now coordinates all of the artwork. I had been extremely interested in effects pedals for a long time and wanted to know more about how they worked. Justin gave me a run down on the basic functions of the components of a circuit, and showed me how to read a schematic. I put together a breadboard and tried to clone schematics of some well known fuzz circuits (fuzzface, octavia, big muff), and then tried to do some of the more well-known mods I found on the internet. After A LOT of practice with this, I attempted to try some of my own mods and then started creating my own circuits. After doing a lot of building for myself and friends, and getting a lot of positive feedback from people that heard my pedals, I decided to launch Main.Ace.FX.
Dave from Pigtronix has been really nice to me on the few occasions I reached out to him with a question or two. He's a really knowledgeable guy and makes some of the most ridiculously amazing circuits around!
As far as inspiration, you can't say the word effects without mentioning Mike Matthews... the man is legendary! Also, Devi Ever... She makes really amazing sounding pedals, and has become really popular. As a boutique builder myself, it's great to see someone reach that level of success.
Here's FXDB's interview with James Bennett of Jamés Pedals.
Jamés Pedals is run by James Bennett from his house outside Örebro in Sweden.
How did Jamés Pedals start?
I started making pedals as another way to pass the time. I liked making model helicopters and electric guitars. The helicopters were cool and the guitars were great, but I had made all the helicopters that interested me and guitars were just too expensive to make all the time. Making pedals was a logical choice.
I was inspired by all the other people making pedals. There are some amazingly talented people out there - and I mean both the interiors and exteriors of pedals. They never cease to amaze me.
The world's biggest musical instruments fair starts next week: Frankfurt Musikmesse!
As every year I'll check out all the new pedals and add them to the site. You can find the list here:
Not a lot of news before the show (maybe because there were lots of new products at NAMM), but I have high expectations!
Here's FXDB's interview with Steve Goldsborough of Copper Gear.
CopperGear is run by Steve Goldsborough, who is the "Mad Scientist with many hats" at the company. They're located in the small town of Granbury in the big state of Texas.
"All of our gear is pure analog goodness handmade from copper, wood, leather, and brass. Gear that not only sounds great, but should last for decades to come."
How did Copper Gear start?
I got into building gear because I was an out of work network admin and I needed to feed my family. Some years before I had tinkered with a couple pedal ideas while working at a club in Dallas, TX but never got around to really finishing them. So fast forward a bit and with a lack of job prospects I decided to change gears, finish my pedal designs, and test the waters. People were really receptive to what I had made, and here we are now.
When I worked at the clubs in Dallas I had the opportunity to talk to every guitarist that played. I would always ask, "What is it you wish someone would make for guitar, or what changes would you make to an existing piece of gear?", from those thousand or so guitarists I designed the original M.A.D. Box. Since then I still ask the same questions to whoever will listen. I also bounce a lot of ideas off my brother Bobcat, who is an audio engineer in Dallas and a part of CopperGear as well. We will banter back and forth mainly about what seems to be missing in most gear, and how to fix it. But mainly my inspiration comes from the average player and how they want to play.